Category: Technology

How safe are you browsing with Firefox?

Mozilla Firefox is a popular browser used by millions of Internet users all around the world. The coolest feature of Mozilla Firefox is its compatibility to add more and more plugins and enable yourself with advanced browsing.

However, we need to update our plugins as soon as a new version is available. Updates of these plugins will not only cover new features of the plugin, but also will address some vulnerability to security threats during browsing. Many people ignore it as it takes little time (a matter of no more than 2 minutes) for the plugin to update and restart the browser. This increases their risk to security threats online like malware, viruses, botnets, etc.

How to check if your plugin is up-to-date? Just click here or copy paste this URL in your browser https://www-trunk.stage.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/.

The window that opens will let you know the status of your plugin.

  • Green indicates that your plugin is up-to-date.
  • Yellow indicates outdated but without known vulnerabilities.
  • Red indicates that the plugin is known to have security holes and is outdated.
  • Don’t worry about the Grey colored plugin.

Update your plugin frequently for safe and better browsing.

Should I Migrate to Windows 7?

Windows 7 OS is scheduled to be available to the public market in just over a month. There are many doubts and apprehensions about the capability of this OS as its earlier version Vista is a failure. It seems Microsoft has given enough weight this time to what the Windows users really wanted – a simpler and friendly OS. Windows 7 has some novel features while improving the older ones. Moreover, some flop features in Vista are removed from Windows 7 to improve the performance.

There are some advantages along with disadvantages of opting to Windows 7. The following information may help you in deciding whether you really need to upgrade to Windows 7-

Reasons to switch to Windows 7

  1. Application compatibility can be achieved by “Windows XP mode” by running virtual windows XP machine.
  2. Windows live essentials: It is a free software that make possible to do more things like instant messaging, e-mail, photo editing, and blogging.
  3. Improved search operation performance, as results will come instantly as categorized in groups. Moreover, key words are highlighted enabling easy file identification.
  4. Supports 64-bit PC that can handle huge amounts of information than a 32-bit system.
  5. Power management can be efficiently done by new features such as, running less number of background activities, automatic screen dimming, unused ports are not run and life indicator to battery.
  6. Multi touch technology allows to use more than one finger while operating the touch screen either at application level or system level.
  7. Protect files with features such as “Use Bit Locker” and “Bit Locker To Go”
  8. Continuous access to corporate resources with a broadband connection. No need to get a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
  9. The feature “Domain Join” allows to connect multiple PCs, with or without a server.
  10. Supports 35 languages. So, you can easily switch among them by logging off, again logging on. Moreover, it supports handwriting recognition.
  11. System startup, shutdown and resumes are faster.
  12. Appearance of the desktop has improved by including fresh wallpapers, retooled task bar and improved gadgets
  13. Easy data sharing between two or more PCs by using “Share with” option.
  14. Windows 7 can read larger than 131 GB hard drive (unfragmented).
  15. Upgrading Vista to Windows7 will get 223% better performance while running IE8.
  16. In Action Center you can find information you need regarding system maintenance, trouble shooting, security issues etc.

Reasons to avoid Windows7

  1. Older PCs doesn’t have hardware compatibility to achieve ‘Windows XP mode’.
  2. Windows7 provides less battery life to the notebooks than Windows XP.
  3. Need to do clean install if you want to upgrade from XP to Windows7.
  4. If you’re an XP user you need to learn a new user interface.
  5. Runs the browser 11.5% slower than Windows XP.
  6. Requires high configuration like Vista.
  7. Very expensive to buy.

Comparison of System Requirements:

Requirement Windows7 Vista Windows XP
Processor 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor 223MHz CPU
RAM 1GB(32bit)/2GB(64bit) At least 1GB 128MB
Available disk space for OS installing 16GB(32bit)/20GB(64bit) 15GB 1.5GB

These descriptions and features will help you in learning ins and outs of Windows 7. Windows 7 has fixes to the drawbacks in Vista and it is desirable to move to the new OS. For the XP users, you may need to think twice before moving to Windows 7. Ultimately it is you to decide based on your computer usage and requirements.

PS: Click: “http://power-posts.com/2009/09/should-i-migrate-to-windows-7/” to view the the original context of this post.

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Protecting Yourself Online with Strong Passwords

The concept of having a password for any system is similar to a key for home. The key for home is essential in order to lock and protect personal belongings from others who are not authenticated or desired to enter home. Today, due to globalization and Internet revolution, a person may have several online properties or accounts that are as important as properties physically existing at home. Those may be e-mails, portal, website subscriptions, network servers, databases, online banking accounts, credit cards, etc. Strong passwords for these helps in having a secure and strong lock just like lock to home.

Most people, who are new to the online world, have lack of knowledge on setting up a strong password for their online accounts. But the increasing cyber crime can easily trace the passwords. And the results can be as terrible as the attack on Microsoft’s Hotmail and other web-based email services. A recent survey on these missing passwords revealed that many of the accounts had easy-to-guess passwords and the most frequently used password among these was “123456”.

Some general methods that attackers use for identifying a victim’s password include:

  • Guessing—The attacker tries to log on using the user’s account repeatedly by guessing probable or expected words and phrases like their children’s names, their birth city, and local sports teams.
  • Online Dictionary Attack—The attacker utilizes an automated program, which consists of a text file of many words. The program frequently tries to log on to the target system by testing a different word present in the text file on each attempt.
  • Offline Dictionary Attack— It is similar to the online dictionary attack, the attacker extracts a copy of the file in which the hashed or encrypted copy of user accounts and passwords are saved and runs an automated program to find out what password is used for each account. This type of attack can be finished very quickly if the attacker gains a copy of the password file.
  • Offline Brute Force Attack—This is a modified form of the dictionary attacks, and designed to discover passwords, which are not present or available in the text file used in those attacks. Even though a brute (very strong) force attack can be tried online, because of network bandwidth and latency they are generally attempted offline utilizing a copy of the target system’s password file. In a brute force attack, the attacker utilizes an automated program, which produces hashes or encrypted values for all possible passwords and analyzes them with the values in the password file.

Microsoft suggests that the use of strong passwords can slow or sometimes break the various attack methods. This shows the importance of having a strong password.

Creating a Strong password:

Passwords are case-sensitive and may be as long as 127 characters. A strong password:

  • Should never consist of user name.
  • Should be minimum of eight characters long.
  • Should compulsorily include both lower case and uppercase alphabets (minimum one from each group is suggested).
  • Should consist of minimum one number (0 to 9).
  • Should consist of at least one symbol. (Eg: *, ^, $, #)

A string, which has all the above characteristics, is known as strong password. A complex password should not be something, which is difficult to remember. Forgetting a strong or complex password, which is difficult to remember, is as harmful as getting attacked by a weak password.

The password created must be easier to remember but difficult for anybody to guess. It can also be a favorite phrase or quotation or mixture of two words. Substitutes for alphabets can also be used to satisfy the above criteria for a strong password. For example ‘a’ in password can be substituted with ‘@’, similarly ‘i’ can be replaced with ‘!’; and ‘o’ with ‘0’ or ‘()’.

It is a good practice if password is changed periodically like monthly or quarterly.

Advantages of Insurance Software for Insurance Companies

Insurance software is an application platform for an insurance agency to flourish and enhance its client’s data base, provide full customer service and to lead in the competitive market. The software helps cope with all the changes in the regulatory trends and helps to meet its business needs.

For an insurer to be in top-level with superior customer satisfaction, it is important to have customized or tailored insurance software than generic software for meeting its particular business needs. Here we will discuss about the advantages of insurance software for insurance industry.

  • Insurance software is generally offered as a package.
  • Brings all information into one database and sets up easy to use operational system and improves operational efficiency.Legal billing software
  • There are various applications that enable to provide information of business and its services.
  • The insurance software helps in processing claims, claims settlement in full scale and fast track settlements.
  • It helps in customer service management and helps to spend free time on customer interaction when required.
  • The software module includes premium operations, agent advances, commissions, and reserves.
  • Helps in insurance billing by providing disbursement and collection systems that consists of flexible and dynamic payment schedules.
  • Enables a simple policy renewal rather than agent speaking to customer.
  • Provides relevant insights to build customer relationship and helps in retaining existing customer.
  • The customer data is stored in the most secure manner possible.
  • The insurance software is designed to get latest changes in the market automatically.
  • Helps in instant email response, customer care integration through cutting-edge to your business needs.

Thus, while opting for particular insurance software, you need to consider factors such as number of clients, mode of transactions and insurance segment. It should help in tracking customer record as well as possess various professional services such as training, support to stay above competition, integrating front and back end offices. Get right insurance software that offers all-round effective solutions to your insurance business. (more…)

How to Find the Best Web Directory to Submit Your Website?

Submitting websites to web directories is one of the best ways to promote your business website. However, given the plethora of directories, it is difficult for a newbie to know which one is really good and which is not. Since the credibility of the web directory plays a vital role in bringing forth the best, it is important to make a smart choice. This article is about the ways to find the best web directory for website submission.

Well reputed directory: The reputation or the credibility of a directory is one of the significant factors to consider while choosing a good directory. Unless, it is good your website cannot hold the value of being included in it. One way to judge the credibility of the directory is through Page Rank. Thus, higher the Page Rank of the directory, the better it is. Further, a good directory is one that is live for quite some time. Instead of going for new ones, it is, therefore, better to choose the old and reputed ones.

Special services: Though most of the directories offer similar kinds of services, it is better to check the services again, so that you can find if there is anything extra. Check for the SERP ranking of the directories – the higher the ranking is, the better will be the revenue. Link recognition through a single source inbound linking from correlated websites is also useful as it enables the websites to get good popularity. Finally, free Vs paid. Though, it is often controversial, whatever the type may be it depends on the quality of the directory.

Human editors: Apart from all the basic and special services, the main thing to check for is the editing part. The popularity of the directories is because they use human editors for reviewing the website, following strict quality measures. So, if the directory does not use human editors, it is not worth considering for submission.

Well organized: A good web directory is often well-organized. It takes care of every minute aspect and maintains the website to make it user friendly. Proper categorization of websites, ease in linking procedure, and use of good quality content in the website are few of the characteristics of a good web directory.

No place for sites: One more unique quality of a good quality web directory is that it does not accept all the submissions and more probably it does not have any spam websites or ads in the directory. Check for the spam sites by using particular keywords and if you find a lot of sites in that category better not to go for it.

Better navigation – provides search tools: The ultimate goal of the directory is to serve the users with good quality websites that offer the information they are looking for. If the website is not user friendly or navigation is planned properly, it prompts the user to go to another web directory. Moreover, the absence of search tools which make the search easy for the users is also an important point to note. Therefore, while choosing a directory make sure to choose one which makes sense for the users.

These guidelines look simple but are worth considering while choosing a good directory for websites submission.

Know the Benefits of Submitting a Website to a Web-Directory

Submitting websites to web-directories is an effective method to gain popularity. Though both the directories and search engines provide the same service, the way in which they operate is distinct. The user also may have a different experience using these two. However, as these days search engines are more popular, many people doubt the use and effectiveness of submitting websites to web-directories. For some, however, submission to directory is worth considering for following reasons.

Best way to reach prospective customers: Unlike search engines, which provide a huge list of unordered websites, web-directories provide well-organized category wise listings. A user who comes to a directory is clear on what s/he is looking for and will drill down into the categories according to it. Such a user will definitely look for either the information or to buy a product. So, by getting listed in the appropriate category the businesses have the opportunity to target the customers who are more likely to buy a product.

Quick indexing by search engines: There are two things to note. One- since the web-directories are the favorite places for the search engines to find good quality sites and content, they often visit them and hence chances of getting indexed by a search engine or more. Secondly, most search engines calculate the page rank of the site based on the inbound links the site gets. By listing in a reputed directory the website can get a valid back link, which is considered a good source by the search engine.

Can get filtered traffic: While using a directory for browsing specific information, users go through different categories and finally reach the information. Since every product is listed in its respective category, the web-directories drive the users exactly to what they are looking for. In this way every site is getting filtered traffic which is exactly looking for that kind of website.

Better sales ratios: As mentioned, since every website gets only filtered traffic which is exactly desired for such kind of product/service, the chances of the traffic turning into customers is more. With the help of better description of your website, if you make the users have different experience from that of the competitor’s website, you could get more sales and bigger customer base.

Brand awareness: Most reputed web-directories accept websites which are of good quality. They take the help of human editors to review the sites and thus their list of websites would be confined. Among those few which are listed in the directory, it is easy to get brand awareness which helps you to promote the brand.

Cost effective marketing strategy: Web-directories help websites get indexed quickly, get good page ranks, get high search engine rankings, increasing brand awareness. This way, it indirectly works as an effective marketing strategy which helps businesses get promoted much easily. If you use a free directory, web directory submissions would become a costless or even though it is paid, it charges comparatively less and thus is a cost effective marketing strategy.

All these benefits would, however, accrue to your business only if you submit your websites to reputed and credible directories.

What are the Various Deployment Models of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides a new way for organizations to manage computing resources. Instead of purchasing, installing and maintaining hardware and software, organizations rent the shared resources from an online service provider and dynamically configure the resources by themselves. This computing model speeds up the deployment and reduces cost. There are four deployment options for cloud computing.

site monitoringPublic Cloud: Public clouds are usually provided by hosting centers. When the cloud infrastructure is beyond the premises of an enterprise, it is made available to general public and a large industry group by a network. Organizations can obtain application and computing resources without making any capital expenditure or using internal IT resources; they are managed by a third party service provider.

Private Cloud:
The cloud computing infrastructure is within the premises of an enterprise and is accessed by a secured private network.

Hybrid Cloud: A composition of two or more clouds known as combined cloud, is the combination of virtual servers and physical servers or two clouds joined together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.

Community Cloud: In the community cloud, different organizations with same requirements share a cloud infrastructure.

The above are the various models of deployment of cloud computing. (more…)

What is Business Application Software and How is it Useful?

Business application software is used by businesses for the purpose of storing the data and information such as business transactions and assets.

Business application software can help the businesses to improve and increase profits. It also speeds up the productivity of the business. Business application software is categorized into small, medium and large matrices.

The large matrix is meant for applications at the enterprise level. These applications include enterprise content management, product life cycle management, business process management (BPM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The medium matrix is meant for applications such as enhancing productivity, field service, shopping cart, loan origination, human resources, outsourcing relationship management, customer relationship management (CRM).

The small matrix includes Microsoft Office, Open Office and home accounting programs.

Every single business needs business application software that provides new technologies and increases their productivity. Regardless of the type of business the business application software tools should be considered. Business performance management, data mining, reporting software, online analytical processing and digital dashboards are few of business application software tools. (more…)